Can Your Landlord Walk Into Your Home Whenever? | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Roy and Deborah Stanley moved into their Jacksonville apartment two months ago and say they were stunned when the landlord unlocked their apartment, unannounced and at the most inappropriate time.
He was at work. She was home alone in the shower.
"The door came open and I thought it was him (Roy)," said Stanley, "well he (landlord) just walked into the house and I shoved the door back and said I just got out of the shower, can you give me a minute?"
Another resident in the same Jacksonville apartment complex, Jimmy Nuckles, said the landlord is hands on and dedicated to the upkeep of the property but like his neighbors, he wants to know what rights the residents have.
"It is like in everything, else you should be given notice you're coming into to spray," said Nuckles.
Is the landlord required to give them prior notice?
"I thought they were supposed to put a notice on the door," said Niki Anderson.
The answer is: not necessarily.
The Florida Division of Consumer Services said under the landlord tenant act:
-The landlord may enter the dwelling unit at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises.
-The landlord may enter the dwelling unit upon reasonable notice to the tenant and at a reasonable time for the purpose of repair of the premises.
-Reasonable notice is defined as twelve hours prior to the entry.
The landlord in this case said he always knocks before he enters an apartment and he never goes in unless there's a need.
Last week he was unlocking the doors so the exterminator could treat the apartments.
The landlord said as result of the concerns, starting next month he will give his tenants a three day notice.
The Florida Landlord Tenant Act said there are two other times a landlord can enter without prior notice:
-If there's an emergency
-If the tenant unreasonably withholds consent
You cannot change the locks without the landlord's permission, but you can add a safety chain.